TABLIGH PLAN 2013-16
Below is the 3 year Tabligh plan and it includes several ideas and specific implementation activities coupled with defined metrics. These specific quantifiable initiatives are highlighted in red for review.
Increased Media outreach by working with our Media and PA teams.
A better and more focused plan is the essence of good PR/Tabligh. Before engaging in any Tabligh activities, all Jama'ats should take the time to carefully research and build a database of key reporters and editorial managers. Tabligh secretaries working with our media team can develop lists of contacts from previous events that generated positive PR. Tabligh secretaries working with Media/PA teams can generate more PR opportunities by becoming local experts on Islam, contributing op-ed articles or even suggesting a feature on Ahmadiyyat.
- Speaking opportunities offer another avenue for generating exposure.
- Blogs and social media have grown in popularity as communications tools because they offer a way to have an active discussion with a motivated audience. A presence in the blogosphere can add to the perception the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community as a thought leader in Islamic related subjects. Development of Blog Radio sites throughout the USA to further enhance Tabligh outreach.
Tabligh Crisis Response
There needs to be a procedure on how we respond to the daily negative scenarios. Tabligh secretaries should be educated about crisis procedures and how we should follow the lead and directives of our Media Team before we respond or comment on any local, national, or international crisis.
An example would be the situation in Syria. The World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat and Fifth Khalifa, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad has spoken with great concern about the potential impact of military intervention in Syria.
His Holiness said that such action would cause the Syrian conflict to spread far and wide and ultimately could lead to a devastating Third World War. His Holiness said the only way to solve the crisis was to act at all times upon the Quranic teaching of remaining fair and just.
Speaking about the inherent dangers of the Syrian conflict, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said the crisis had already caused division and dissension in the wider world. He said that whilst some major powers were siding with the Syrian Government, other major powers were siding with the rebel forces. His Holiness said this divide “had created the most dangerous state of affairs.”
Ahmadiyya Outreach Plan
Start with understanding your demographic/target family. Conduct demographic studies (hard and soft data) – find out what people in your community respond to, in religious event planning, so that you can learn where to find people with similar backgrounds and experiences.
Brainstorm a list of possible outreach event, community felt needs class, and service opportunity you can think of. Develop three different lists (events, classes/seminars, service opportunities). Events (typically larger and more costly, but reaching far more people – often city wide events, but also includes community specific events). Examples include:
- Co-sponsor large community events (partnering with local communities and civic organizations)
- Free community Health Services
- Special 9/11 Memorial Service
- Public servant recognition day (for police, fireman, etc)
- Neighborhood cookouts, meet and greet gatherings...introduce AMC
- Community/neighborhood block parties
- Sporting tournaments (e.g. 3 on 3 basketball tournament, flag football league, etc.)
- Ramadan Iftars
- Community New Year’s Eve party
- Muslims For Loyalty, celebrate Independence Day on July 4th
- Information meetings (free meal and presentation about new church)
- Parent’s night outs ...partners with area groups. Be visible not invisible in the community
- MMOP Events to be held annually throughout the year. Use local educational institutions.
In identifying events, consider researching local community/city and neighborhood association plans. Look for ways to partner/participate in events already planned by the community.
Look for and find Service Opportunities (typically smaller scale and low cost – usually target localized groups of people). The Random Acts of Kindness Institute maintains one of the best free lists of community service ideas. Their 18 page list of ideas can be found at http://www.actsofkindness.org/file_uploads/files/11_pdf.pdf. Service opportunities are almost endless and include:
- adopt a highway for cleanup
- volunteer service at local schools
- carrying groceries to cars
- Giving away bottled water to commuters
- Giving away stamps at the post office
- Visiting people in nursing homes
- Taking fresh baked goods to local police and fireman
- Handing out snacks or hot chocolate to people standing in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles
- Hold Kindness Day events to talk about the kindness of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) and follow with various Kindness Day projects.
- Hold Kindness Day Interfaith dialogues by partnering with area faith-based groups.
Note: Remember, every outreach event is an opportunity to market the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to the greater community. In prioritizing the events, ask the question “will this event allow us to get at least 3 positive marketing touches to the local community?”
Establish standards/expectations for how many events will be conducted up by the Jama'at. AMC should hold one major event per month, one community Islamic seminar per month and one service opportunity per week. These events and projects will have multiple marketing touches per event and will help establish positive name recognition for AMC.
Tabligh Secretaries should Issue a written outreach plan that includes:
- Identify the purpose of your outreach plan
- Identify the standard/expectations for the number of events to be held
- Identify list of top priorities for the three types of outreach (events, seminars, service)
- Identify schedule of events
- Identify organizational structure for coordinating events
- Identify special needs (, equipment, food, etc.)
- Identify budget for events
PR/PA, Tabligh and Social Services are key to the success of good community outreach. We have to become more "visible" and it should be a priority in all of our Jama'ats. It is better to partner with existing community events rather than start from scratch. In Zion, the community festivals were always good areas for volunteerism from members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. "The city of Miracles “was an annual event that volunteers from our community became known to the many groups participating in the event. The Zion Jama'at was responsible for erecting tents and breaking down tents at the end of the event. It was an outstanding service at events that attracted thousands of participants.
Issuance of Tabligh Guide for all Tabligh Secretaries, published as UK Centenary by Naseem Ahmad Bajwa. A concise and potent compilation on the subject of Tabligh. Part of three-year plan to better train and educate Tabligh Secretaries.
Improved Reporting system, a continued problem from past years. The majority of Tabligh Secretaries simply neglect reporting on their activities. Only a third of all Tabligh Secretaries use the AMJ Reporting system which requires a report, approval by the Jama'at President and completed with comments from the National Secretary Tabligh.
Three year plan to develop Jail Ministry teams in county jails. Launch this plan in November 2013 at the Tabligh Conference. A service minded project with PR/Media components to provide spiritual guidance and pastoral care to inmates in County Jails.
- A component of the Jail Ministry is to reach out to Detainees (more than 400,000) in America's county jails and being held in privately managed prisons.
- Create Chaplain training seminars for retired Ahmadis (at least 10 per year)
Developing a heart for the community and its needs, Members’ active engagement with their neighbors—and that can get ignited by something as simple as a “Friendship Sunday” in which AMC members commit to invite at least one non-Christian friend after Church to have dialogue on common community issues like unemployment, poverty government or lack of government. Invite neighborhood friends to the mosque. Reach out to folks who are in your "circle of influence." Create personal invitations to invite non-Muslims to the mosque for snacks.
Lastly, there must be a 3-year plan for “Spiritual Development.” As Hudhur said in his April 9th, 2010 sermon: “The real way to spread the true faith is through spiritual development and spiritual development does not come about without prayers and a connection with God. How could the task of summoning people to God be done without first establishing a connection with God? The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) expounded that our triumph will come about with prayers alone. Tabligh too requires prayers and bears fruit with effort and prayers combined with special attention given to improving one’s own practices.”
The Holy Qur’an states: ‘And who is better in speech than he who invites men to Allah and does good works and says, ‘I am surely of those who submit?’ (41:34)
God declares summoning people to Him as the best of tasks and everything else as secondary. One is to utilize all resources that are available to perform this task and be included in the best of people. The Holy Qur’an states hundreds of commands and forbids many things. Good works constitute when man avoids what is forbidden and tries to do what is enjoined. Hudhur said if we analyze ourselves there is much piety that we overlook in our daily lives. It is a most significant condition for one who invites people to God to be one who does ‘good works’. Then alone can one summon another to the ways showed by the Promised Messiah in the current age. Then alone can one assert that he or she has, to some extent, found inner peace and is heading towards spiritual development and can usher others to listen and try to be obedient as one has been obedient.”
Humbly Submitted with request for prayers
National Secretary Tabligh, USA
15000 Good Hope Road, Silver Spring, MD 20905
phone: 301-879-0110 fax: 301-879-0115 www.ahmadiyya.us 1-800-Why-Islam